The gift of Elsa and Frozen keeps on giving. According to the latest stats from The NPD Group, one of the most notable trends this year in the UK’s toy market has been the resurgence in sales of licensed toys.
While licensed toy sales were down across Europe in 2013, this year they’ve increased by 10% and now make up 27% of total sales. Top performers for licensed toys were Frozen, Star Wars, Disney Princess, World Cup Soccer and Peppa Pig.
Overall, 2014 was a good year for Britain’s toy industry, with sales up 6% and posting their best result since 2010. With a 17% increase in unit sales for 2014, this suggests a strong holiday-selling season.
According to Frederique Tutt, Toys Global Industry analyst for The NPD Group, the British toy market is leading the resurgence in sales across Europe. Impulse sales of collectibles and lower-priced toys are up, as well as licensed items from movies including Frozen and this year’s arts & crafts craze Loom Bands. Other must-have toys that helped drive sales were Panini stickers, LoomBands and Lego Minifigures.
Other hotly anticipated toys coming to the market for Christmas include interactive friends and connected companions, or toys that can communicate and be connected to smartphones and tablets using wifi.
Following the success of the relaunched Furby, other interactive friends that are tipped to lead toy sales are: Cayla, a wifi-connected doll from Vivid; and Spin Master’s Zoomer Dino, a moving and roaring dinosaur. Also expected to make waves are the tweeting birds from Character Options’ Little Live Pets and Silverlit’s Digibirds, toys that sing and respond to a child’s touch.